Photo Credit: Eric Francis

Former Husker Trey Palmer Runs Fastest 40 Among Receivers at NFL Combine

March 05, 2023

Trey Palmer knew he was going to have a great day the last time he played competitive football. He strapped up to play one of the nation’s best defenses and knew Iowa couldn’t cover him.

On Saturday, the official stopwatches of the 2023 NFL Combine confirmed why. The former Husker clocked an official 4.33 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. That was the fastest 40 ran among receivers at the combine and third-fastest 40 among all athletes at this year’s combine so far—running backs work out on Sunday. Palmer ran 4.33 in his first attempt and clocked an unofficial 4.36 in his second 40. His 10-yard split during those reps clocked at 1.51 seconds.

Palmer didn’t measure his vertical or broad jump, three-cone drill or shuttle. His arm length measured at 31 7/8 inches and his hand size measured at 9 5/8 inches.

The LSU transfer and single-season receiving yards leader in Nebraska history caught passes from different quarterbacks during his Saturday workout. In his two reps in the gauntlet, he successfully hauled in all 14 catches, with one double-catch that caught him on his shoulder. Both of those reps came from former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud. Palmer also ran smooth out and slant routes with catches from Stroud. Nebraska’s single-season receptions leader among receivers had to adjust to a throw behind him from former Houston quarterback Clayton Tune. Palmer also stood out among deep routes.

Palmer competed in the second group of receivers and quarterbacks on Saturday afternoon, just before the tight ends and former Husker Travis Vokolek. The Rutgers transfer and former offensive team captain only measured his broad jump among the athletic gauges. Vokolek reached 9 feet, 7 inches in the broad jump, that tied him for the 13th best mark among tight ends at this year’s combine. His arm reach measured 32 7/8 inches and his hands measured 9 1/2 inches.

Vokolek competed in drills outside of the 40. He ran a smooth gauntlet, catching all seven passes from sideline to sideline. He caught his goal-line fade drill and completed his out-route with a catch. The former Husker couldn’t haul in his deep ball with the throw sailing out of his reach. Vokolek showed his run blocking on the sled drill, moving the sled 10 yards.

Those two aren’t entirely done at the NFL Combine. Quarterbacks, wide receivers and tight ends will bench press on Sunday. Although, Palmer and Vokolek could choose to forgo the bench press.

Former Husker edge rusher Ochaun Mathis conducted his combine workout on Thursday and benched on Friday. The TCU transfer measured his arm reach at 35 1/4 inches and hands at 10 3/4 inches. Mathis ran an official 4.74 in the 40 with a 1.64 second 10-yard split. His 20-yard shuttle officially clocked at 4.38 seconds, the fourth-best mark among defensive linemen. Mathis measured a vertical jump of 33.5 inches and a broad jump of 9 feet, 10 inches. He chose to bench on Friday and completed 21 reps. Mathis elected to not compete in the three-cone drill.

Mathis’s arm length stood out among edge rushers, although he’s expected to have a brighter future as a pass-rushing linebacker. He told assembled media during that portion of the combine that he’s glad he transferred to Nebraska and elected to stay in college that year so he could build strength for the NFL.

“Yes, they want a younger guy and that has a real impact on me coming into the draft,” Mathis told the Associated Press before workouts. “I didn’t want to get too old, you know, ruin the process of it. So just testing the waters, getting out there and taking that leap of faith is one of the biggest things I have to do.”

Mathis, Palmer and Vokolek could also workout at Nebraska’s Pro Day on March 22. Among other former Huskers expected to workout for NFL scouts that day are Caleb Tannor, Garrett Nelson, Chancellor Brewington and Damian Jackson.

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